With the increase in people out walking, jogging or cycling on local roads, ‘sun glare’ can cause vision impairment issues for some motorists, which in turn can pose a risk to those using the road. Sun glare in some areas can prevent a person from being visible to drivers and all too often, motorists who encounter a person unexpectedly on the side of a road may have to break hard or swerve to avoid them.
Using sunglasses is always a good start in combating the effect of sun glare.
Kildare County Council is reminding people who use the road to be more aware of their environment and the roads they are using and be mindful of any sun glare spots which may cause a shadow and sometimes ‘hide’ the person, resulting in some motorists having to take evasion action.
Declan Keogh, Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer said: “Everyone is taking advantage of quieter roads and local roads so they can exercise within their 5km radius, however, these are areas where people may not be too familiar with for their walks or a cycle which also means they may not be fully aware of the risks associated with those roads. Continue exercising, but be mindful that sun glare spots may occur, which can basically hide your presence on the road, so just be mindful of your surrounding and listen out for approaching vehicles and take action to avoid any incidents.”
The following are guidelines for drivers to combat sun glare:
- Use polarized sunglasses that can help prevent glare.
- Delay driving times to occur before or after sunrise or sunset.
- Don’t use high-gloss products on the dashboard, which can contribute to extra glare.
- Keep the inside and outside of the windshield clean.
- Make use of sun visors.
- If glare is a problem, leave extra space between your car and others in the event of sudden stopping or other road hazards.
- Drive slowly and be mindful of obstructions.
- Try taking another route that goes in a different direction than the one from which the sun is shining.
- Leave extra time so that you don’t feel rushed getting to your destination.
- Eye exams or surgery can make eyes more sensitive to the sunlight. Avoid driving after these appointments
- Be aware of your surroundings and look at the road from a driver’s perspective
- If there is no footpath, walk on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic
- Step in off the road to avoid approaching vehicles
- Increase your visibility by wearing a high visibility or reflective jacket or vest, even in daylight hours.
- Again, be aware of your surroundings
- Considering the distance drivers must allow to pass a cyclist, always be aware that not all motorists may see you
- Be more alert for approaching vehicles and prepare to pull in off the road if it is necessary
- Being more visible to other road users is essential, even in daylight hours. You could wear a high visibility, illuminous or reflective garment to become more visible to others.
- If cycling in groups, please bear in mind the width of the road and allow space for other vehicles to overtake or pass.